Karen Thomas, Pharm.D., Ph.D. is a graduate of the University of Utah, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, completed a dual Pharm.D./Ph.D. program, and went on to complete a two-year fellowship in Clinical and Applied Toxicology at the Utah Poison Control Center. Dr. Thomas is currently a Pharmacy Supervisor with University of Utah Health at the Pharmacy Ambulatory Clinical Care Center, which provides centralized ambulatory pharmacy support to the health system including refill authorization, prior authorization, transitions of care, and specialty pharmacy services. Dr. Thomas is a member of the ASHP Section of Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners Advisory Group on Outcomes and Value.
University of Utah Health is the only academic medical center in the Mountain West, providing excellent care for Utahns and the residents of five surrounding states. University of Utah Health comprises 4 hospitals, 12 community clinics and several specialty centers, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, and research.
Recent Significant Projects
Dr. Thomas recently led a successful expansion of centralized prior authorization services from a single pilot clinic to 16 community and specialty clinics over the span of 18 months.
Initial Involvement in ASHP
I serve as a member of the inaugural ASHP Section of Specialty Pharmacy Practitioners Advisory Group on Outcomes and Value.
Why did you become involved in ASHP?
I became involved in ASHP because of the variety of opportunities for education and involvement. I have continued to be involved in ASHP for networking and staying up to date with the profession.
Advice for Someone New to Specialty Area
My advice for someone new to specialty pharmacy (or really any specialty area) is to spend the time to network well and develop relationships with your peers across the country. There are plenty of well-established specialty groups that have solved the problems you will encounter as you navigate workflow development, accreditation, and growth. I would also recommend you stay nimble - specialty pharmacy is evolving quickly and there is always something new to learn and incorporate into your practice.
How would you explain the value of ASHP to a friend or colleague?
ASHP has something to offer everyone at every stage of their career. I appreciate ASHP's advocacy for pharmacy technicians. I am excited for pharmacy students to have the opportunity to participate in the residency match. For more seasoned pharmacists, I am grateful that ASHP provides timely and informative continuing education.